KINGDOM FOOTPRINTS

I originally wrote this piece for our Arctic Explorers holiday club. The Scripture Union notes introduced the concept of 'kingdom footprints', but we were struggling to communicate this idea to our younger children.

I came up with the first verse as something we could make into a poster to put into team bases and then the rest of the poem just flowed out of that.

 

In every place I put my feet,
With all the people that I meet,
When I show Jesus’ love and care,
I leave a kingdom footprint there.

I leave one when I feed the poor,
Or help the sick to find a cure,
To help me know where I should be,
I use my kingdom eyes to see.

And when I do, I see His face,
In every person, every place,
And when I see it, I can start,
To love them with a kingdom heart.

To love the strong, to love the weak,
Love rich and poor and bold and meek.
When I give all an equal worth,
I’ll see God’s Kingdom come to Earth.

So Jesus make me now complete,
With kingdom heart and eyes and feet,
And lead me now and every day,
Within your kingdom prints, I pray.


The Library

This is a poem I wrote while working in a school library. It is partly aspirational and partly didactic: a combination of what a library ought to be and how library users ought to behave. If you work in a school library, have it with my blessing - you're doing God's work.

 

This is a library.

This is a library where we stop and we look,
This is a library where we choose a book.

Where we can stop to take time to ourselves,
To look at the treasure that’s there on the shelves:
Books which are fat, books which are thin,
Books which can have the whole universe in.

This is a library.

This is a library where magic is true,
This is a library where the old can turn new.

Where there’s knowledge to know and feelings to feel,
And dreams and illusions and things which are real:
You can change who you are, your age or your face,
You can travel through time and explore every place.

This is a library.

This is a library where ideas can run riot,
This is a library where voices are quiet.

Where we’re quiet to think and to wander about,
And wonder about all of the things we find out:
It isn’t a place where we play or make noise,
It’s where our tongues stop, and thoughts are our toys.

This is a library.

This is a library where we help and we share,
This is a library where we’re kind and we care.

Where everyone’s looking for ways they can start
To make things work better, where each plays their part;
We all make a difference, be it big or quite small,
To this wonderful library which belongs to us all.

This is our library.


The Lord's Prayer

This was written for our 2018 holiday club at church, although I'd been looking for a reason to do a poem of the Lord's Prayer for a while. The version presented here as an extra introductory couplet which we didn't use as part of the club. For more information on the Safari Sparks holiday club, click here.

 

When Jesus taught us how we ought to pray,
He gave these special words for us to say:

Our father God, in heaven that's above,
Your holy name we set apart to love;
So build your kingdom here, that we might know
And see your will be done on Earth below;
We pray you'd give us everything we need,
From holy word to bread on which we feed;
Forgive the ways we've sinned, in act or thought,
As we forgive all others, as you taught;
And let us not be led in wicked ways,
But keep us safe from evil all our days;
For your eternal kingdom reigns secure,
Your power and glory last forevermore.


Nursery Rhymes

These short verses were all things I wrote just after my son was born. They were mostly improvised little songs I made up to sing him, but I imagine that's how most of the traditional nursery rhymes were written too.

 

Baby, Baby, What Do You See?

Baby, baby,
What do you see?
What do you see
   when you're looking at me?

Do you see I love you so?
And that I'll never let you go?

Baby, baby,
What do you see?
What do you see
   when you're looking at me?


Baby's Hat

Mummy‘s got a hat, Daddy’s got a hat,
Baby's got a hat but he won't wear that!
Baby won't wear his new blue hat,
Baby's got a hat but he won't wear that!

Sun shines brightly in baby's eyes,
Baby doesn't like that so baby cries,
But Baby won't wear his new blue hat,
Baby's got a hat but he won't wear that!


Fly Away Home

Fly away, fly away, fly away home,
No matter how far or how fast you may roam,
Carry love with you so you’re not alone.
And fly away, fly away, fly away home.


Standing Man

Standing man,
Standing tall,
Standing high above it all.

Standing man,
Standing strong,
See your shadow stretch out long.

Standing man,
Standing proud,
Raise your voice and shout out loud.

Standing man,
Standing tall,
Standing high above it all.


A Poem For Jack

I wrote this one day while working in a primary school library. A boy named Jack was writing a train poem and so I wrote one too, a) For solidarity; b) To amuse him; c) Because I obviously didn't have much else I either needed or wanted to do.

 

Click clack,
Click clack,
The train is rolling
Down the track.

Hiss hiss,
Hiss hiss,
Going so fast
It’s easy to miss.

Woo woo
Woo woo
The driver blows
The whistle at you.

“Train departing
Platform one...”
The doors are closing,
Then it’s gone.


Space Poems

These are poems I wrote for an anthology of space poems due to come out to coincide with the anniversary of the moon landing. I never heard back about it, but the book’s out now so I can only assume I didn’t get in. Either way, I have a soft spot for all of these poems, as well as Twelve Stories To Be Told By Moonlight and The Planets Suite which were written at the same time.

 

Comet Nonet

Make a joyful dash across the night
And see the sun come into view
The end to years of yearning
A streamer stretched behind
Too close, burning bright
My heart unwinds
Heat turning
Me to
Light


Countdown

Loosely based on this NASA countdown guide.

10. Vacuum cabin, clean the gear,
9. See the weather’s fine and clear,
8. Run through every list and rule,
7. Spend two hours loading fuel,
6. Get the crew in place to go,
5. Check they’re on the radio,
4. Close the door (make sure it’s tight)
3. Set computers for the flight,
2. Visor down to shield your face,
1. Engines on...
Blast-off! ...and go to space!


Kenning

High-flier,
Orbit-swept,
Free-floater,
Capsule-kept,

Space-walker,
Most-alone,
Earth-gazer,
Planet-shown,

Further-yearner,
Cosmos-caught,
Star-sailor,
Astronaut.


Try, Try Again

The Premier League, of all institutions, has a campaign to improve literacy in schools. Part of this was a poetry competition based on the a poem called 'Try, Try Again' which challenged children to write a poem based on the titular phrase. One of the classes at school was taking part, so I decided to have a go.

 

Today, I fell:
Run down, defeated, discouraged and dismayed,
Yet unbroken, unafraid.

Tomorrow, I shall take my feet:
Rejecting all ‘You Can’t’s as lies;
Yearningly, I’ll stretch toward the skies.

And ever more, I rise and rise again:
Gaining height, I strive towards the sun.
All my setbacks give me strength:
I shall rejoice in my failures. They are
Nourishment for each success I’ve won.